The USA struck in just the 11th minute as forward Tiffeny Milbrett, the smallest player on the field, headed in Shannon MacMillan's cross from right side. Milbrett snuck in between two defenders to nod the ball into the left corner from 10 yards out.
The Americans scored the second goal in the 24th minute after Kristine Lilly and Mia Hamm worked a short corner kick from the left side. Hamm crossed into the middle and Russian goalkeeper Tatiana Repeikina got a fist on the ball, but it fell to Brandi Chastain in the right side of the box. Chastain's flying scissors kick sent a looping pass to the unmarked Julie Foudy at the far post and she easily headed the ball into the open net from close range for her 36th international goal.
It wasn't until the 31st minute that Russia was able to register its first shot, a driven blast from Natalie Filippova that sailed high. The Russians showed their skill in the first half, but as the match wore on it became clear that the Europeans, who were missing several of the stars from their highly successful 1999 Women's World Cup run, lacked the athleticism to keep pace with the Americans.
Milbrett got her second goal of the game just five minutes into the second half. Lilly threw the ball into Hamm on the left wing. Hamm pivoted and spun a pass into the middle that the cutting Milbrett hit first time, scooping the ball past Repeikina with her left foot and into the lower left corner from five yards out. Milbrett, the seventh all-time leading scorer in the world, upped her international goal total to 79.
"Russia is an up-and-coming team, and they almost qualified for the Olympics, so it was nice to get some goals," said Milbrett, who was named Chevrolet Woman of the Match. "I think it's a sign of things to come." Russia pulled a goal back in the 56th minute after Elena Fomina sprung Natalia Barbashina behind the U.S. defense. She took full advantage of her breakaway opportunity by squeezing the ball under the sliding Siri Mullinix, off the left post and in.
The USA wasted no time in answering back as Hamm scored her world record 123rd career goal just two minutes later. Milbrett whipped a hard cross in on the ground from wide on the left flank. Repeikina misplayed the ball as she dove to get a piece of it, pushing it right into the path of the charging Hamm, who stopped to easily collect the ball and tap it into the wide open net from four yards away.
"Tiffeny is playing great, like so many of our players," said Hamm. "She's scoring great goals for us, getting us on the board early. She's enthusiastic up there and she's dangerous every time she gets the ball. She's one of the unsung heroes for the team. She works hard every day and is just getting better."
The USA finished the game with three goals in a six-minute span as forward Cindy Parlow, who came on for Milbrett in the 62nd minute, got it started in the 73rd. Second-half substitute Danielle Slaton rode a tackle down the left flank and burst free to bang a low cross toward the near post. Parlow jammed her body in front of her defender quickly flicked the ball with the outside of her foot past a stunned Repeikina.
Michelle Akers, playing in just her fourth game after coming back from shoulder surgery, scored the next goal when she ran onto a cross from Sara Whalen and drilled the ball into the net on a left-footed volley from six yards out. It was Akers' 105th career goal, but first since she scored on a penalty kick against Brazil on July 4, 1999, in the Women's World Cup semifinal, and tied her for third all-time on the world scoring list with Carolina Morace.
The match also marked the return of Carla Overbeck to the lineup. The captain of the 1996 Olympic Team and 1999 Women's World Cup Team battled back from Graves disease and knee surgery to make the 2000 Olympic Team. She played the final 27 minutes after coming on for Chastain.
Parlow provided the final goal with a nifty back-heel flick in the 79th minute. Joy Fawcett drove a pass on the ground into the penalty box where Parlow, with her back to the goal, flicked the ball her heel low into the left corner as the Russian defense stood frozen in the six-yard box. Parlow upped her international goal total 43 in 88 games and has a team-leading and career-best 17 goals in 2000.
"What was great about today was you saw the return of Carla Overbeck and Michelle scoring her first goal in a while," added Hamm. "Carla came in and had an immediate impact. She's our field leader and to get her back means a lot to our team. Briana (Scurry) came in and played, so three key players who have been injured gained some confidence today. Going to the Olympics, it's not going to be just 11 players, it's going to be all 18, so that was important to us."
After facing Russia in a closed-door match on Tuesday night at the University of Maryland, the USA will continue the "NIKE Road to Glory" tour when it travels to Kansas City, Mo. to take on Canada on Aug. 20th at Arrowhead Stadium (Kickoff 2 p.m. CT - LIVE on ESPN2). The USA will then take a week off before regrouping in San Diego at the Olympic Training Center for several days of practice before facing Brazil on Sept. 1 at Spartan Stadium in San Jose, Calif. in its final match before the Olympics.
2000 U.S. WOMEN'S NATIONAL TEAM GAME REPORT
|Participants:||U.S. Women's National Team vs. Russia National Team|
|Competition:||NIKE Road to Glory Tour - International Friendly|
|Venue:||Navy-Marine Corps Memorial Stadium (Annapolis, Maryland)|
|Date:||August 13, 2000 - 2 p.m. ET|
|Weather:||74 degrees - Balmy, windy, overcast|
USA - Tiffeny Milbrett, (Shannon MacMillan), 11,
USA - Julie Foudy, (Brandi Chastain), 24,
USA - Tiffeny Milbrett, (Mia Hamm), 50,
RUS - Natalia Barbashina, (Elena Fomina), 56,
USA - Mia Hamm, (Tiffeny Milbrett), 58,
USA - Cindy Parlow, (Danielle Slaton), 73,
USA - Michelle Akers, (Sara Whalen), 77,
USA - Cindy Parlow, (Joy Fawcett), 79.
USA - 18-Siri Mullinix (1-Briana Scurry, 81st), 3-Christie Pearce, 14-Joy Fawcett, 6-Brandi Chastain (4-Carla Overbeck, 63rd), 15-Kate Sobrero (17-Danielle Slaton, 46th), 13-Kristine Lilly, 2-Lorrie Fair, 11-Julie Foudy (10-Michelle Akers, 46th), 8-Shannon MacMillan, (5-Nikki Serlenga, 46th), 16-Tiffeny Milbrett (12-Cindy Parlow, 61st), 9-Mia Hamm (7-Sara Whalen, 76th).
RUS - 12-Tatiana Repeikina, 2-Natalia Kopkova (16-Yulia Yushkevich, 46th), 3-Marina Burakova, 4-Elena Zhikhareva, 5-Natalia Filippova (13-Svetlana Fekolina, 63rd), 6-Armine Gevorgian (15-Oksana Shmachkova, 46th), 7-Elena Fomina, 8-Olga Karasseva, 9-Tatiana Skotnikova (14-Olga Sergaeva, 62nd), 10-Natalia Barbashina, 11-Olga Letushova.
|Marina Burkova (caution)||75.|